Dallas Cowboys Mock Draft: Waiting on receiver the best move, predictions for every pick

The Cowboys are a logical option to take the first receiver off the board at No. 19. But I'm not so sure that's the right course of action.

This draft class is much deeper at receiver than at linebacker, where they have a real chance to land a long-term replacement for Sean Lee. Forget about the reports of Leighton Vander Esch's medical red flags; he wasn't even asked back to Indianapolis for combine re-checks.

In my mock below, I have the Cowboys picking up the linebacker, then trading up for a great value to plug into their one weak spot on the offensive line. After that, receiver value should still be available in the third round.

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You can check out every pick, mock draft and class analysis for all 32 teams in my full seven-round mock draft.

Dallas Cowboys

RoundOverallPlayerNotes
1 19 Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise St.
2 43 James Daniels, G, Iowa from NE
2 50 Traded to New England
3 81 Michael Gallup, WR, Colorado State
4 116 Traded to New England
4 137 DeShon Elliott, SS, Texas Compensatory
5 162 Cole Madison, G, Washington State from TEN
5 171 Traded to Tennessee Compensatory
6 192 Trey Quinn, WR, SMU from OAK/SEA
6 193 R.J. McIntosh, DT, Miami
6 208 Darius Phillips, CB, Western Michigan Compensatory
7 236 Traded to Tennessee

Receiver looks like a big need for the Cowboys after the release of Dez Bryant, but they shouldn't feel forced to go there in the first round. Vander Esch is a supremely talented every-down linebacker who should eventually take over the Sean Lee role on defense. While this draft is deep on receiving talent, there isn't much left at linebacker outside the first round.

The beneficiaries of three compensatory picks, the Cowboys can afford to move up for the right guys. In the second round, that's trading No. 50 and No. 116 to move up for Daniels, who can immediately plug in at left guard and allow La'El Collins to stay at right tackle. In the third round, the Cowboys grab their receiver at a great value, and Gallup has the potential to keep getting better in the pros.

Elliott improves the team's depth at safety. After trading No. 171 and No. 236 for No. 162, the Cowboys boost their interior line depth with Madison, who could also develop into a starter if Zack Martin can't be re-signed. Quinn is a potential slot competition for Ryan Switzer as Cole Beasley's eventual successor, but cutting Beasley could also save the team $3.25 million. McIntosh gives the team an athlete to help depth on the defensive line. Phillips adds depth at cornerback as well as some return-man experience.

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